Then I recalled reading about these circles. During late summer, large patches of salt hay (spartina patens) lay down in matted, swirling patterns aptly named cowlicks. The dying grass, usually out of the tides' reach, stays in place and does not effect the succeeding generation's growth. In fact, it stabilizes the substrate.
I started the day trying to operate the seine by myself. This ranks high among those two-person tasks whose doubtless failure as a solo endeavor only goads one into attempting success. Fortunately, Moshe was available. When operated correctly seine nets are very effective at skimming the nano debris, especially particulate plastic, from the marsh surface.
The problem is they're also very effective at skimming the organisms that swim in the marsh. After unraveling the net we found the debris jerking with dozens of frantic killifish. Some might say you can't make an omelet without breaking a few eggs. And killifish are legion, yes. But they're also the most voracious predators of my sworn enemy, the salt marsh mosquito. How many blood-sucking insects would live for each killifish that perished? I didn't want to find out, and so began the exacting work of picking the killis, one by one, from the net.
And liberating them.
Those that could not be saved, I reassured myself, would make good treats for whatever lurks around the debris piles.
We attempted to scare fish away during subsequent skims by walking in front of the net. This tactic significantly reduced bycatch, and would work much better with a third person, a dedicated fish herder, leading the net draggers. In the end, the seine was worth the sacrifice.
I finished the day in the shop preparing for Saturday's cleanup event. Hope to see you there.
High of 82, max humidity 90%, average wind SSW @ 10 MPH, 5.7 high tide @ 9:36 AM. Moon 98% visible.
Water level recorded at 10 inch mark.
Birds seen in marsh: belted kingfisher, green heron, osprey, great egret
Birds seen in bay: great egret